Above the Plum Tree

Body Cleansing Oils: L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil and Eucerin Skin Calming Body Wash

This time of year my skin seems to shed, and normally I would just ignore this because I am too focused on work, blogging, losing weight, and other pursuits.  This year, however, instead of just losing weight, I am pursuing health and taking care of myself, which includes skin health.  So when my black work pants turned white with dried skin flakes, I decided to make some real changes.  Rather than continue to use my regular gel body wash, I went searching for something more moisturizing.

Eucerin Skin Calming Body Wash

Enter the Eucerin Skin Calming Body Wash, which I hadn’t used before but noticed was specifically for dry skin.

This reminds me of Keri body and bath oil, which our mom used growing up and I always loved, but the advantage of this is it is also cleanses.  With the Keri oil, you apply it on skin after showering and pat skin dry.  With the Eucerin, you actually use it as a body wash.  The instructions say to massage into a lather on skin and then rinse.  In addition to cleansing, this has oils that help soothe and moisturize skin, so you feel the moisturizing effects even after you’ve rinsed it off.

This is not a gel; it has a very thin consistency, almost like water, so if you’re not careful, this can spill out of your hand even before you get it on your skin.  That’s why I pour it straight onto my loofah.  I can’t discern a particular smell, which supports the fragrance free smell.

I can’t say the flakes have subsided yet, but they are diminished.  The Eucerin body wash is 8.4 oz and is available at Walmart for $8.28, so it’s a very affordable choice.  This is good, because you can accidentally use too much of it given the consistency.  Not that I’ve done that… okay, so I have.

L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil

As I used up the Eucerin, I started to wonder what other cleansing oils are out there. Cleansing oils are incredibly popular for the face (a trend led by the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Oil and Josie Maran Argan Oil, as far as I can tell), but I haven’t seen too many cleansing oils for the body.  Browsing through Sephora the other day (as one does), I spotted this L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil.

Although I’m only so-so on the hand lotions that are super popular, I love the L’Occitane Almond Milk Concentrate, which I received as a wonderful gift, so I figured I would at least like the scent of the shower oil.

The L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil is ah-may-zing.  The first thing I noticed when I started using it is that it has that same wonderful almond smell as the milk concentrate lotion.  The fragrance alone nearly justifies the price tag.  Unlike the Eucerin oil’s consistency, the L’Occitane oil is thick and viscous.  Because of this, it is a little easier to use than the Eucerin, and you can easily use a small amount (not that you’ll want to).  To avoid wasting even the littlest bit of this product, I have been applying this straight to my body rather than to the loofah first.  It lathers quite well and, layered with the almond milk concentrate lotion, I leave my apartment wafting the wonderful fragrance of almonds behind me.

L’Occitane is one of those brands whose stores I always pass by but don’t usually stop in.  I also pass straight by their shelf space at Sephora.  Perhaps this is because there are other newer, more cutting edge brands to try, or maybe it is because the prices seemed high for quality I was never too sure about.  But with every new product I try, I find more and more L’Occitane products I like.  Maybe I should give the hand lotions another try.   (BTW, L’Occitane is pronounced LOX-EE-TAHN.  For a funny video on how people pronounce it, this is on L’Occitan’s website).

The L’Occitane is also 8.4 oz and $25.  There is a 16.9 oz bottle for $50, which unlike the 8.4 oz, comes with a pump.  I would really like the pump.  L’Occitane is also available for free shipping if you sign up for auto-replenishment.  (Does anyone do auto-replenishment?  I don’t for a few reasons, chief among them that I’m a product junkie and want to try different products every time I run out of my current stash, but also I’m never quite sure when I will need more product.  Maybe I should pay closer attention to that.)

The two oils come with the same number of ounces, but the L’Occitane is almost double the price.  It depends on what you’re looking for, but both of these are great options.  I might just alternate to keep my pocket book in check while indulging every now and then.

What about you all?  Anyone tried either of these products?  What’s your opinion?  Or, is there something you love that rivals both of these?  Let us know in the comments!

The Lost Season: 5 Musts For Your Wardrobe

The Lost Season: 5 Musts For Your Wardrobe

The holidays are over, and spring feels light years away.  We’ve put away our holiday clothes and our NYE bling, and it will be months before we can break out our pastel, whimsical spring clothes.   

What fashion season are we in now (besides endless winter)?  This is what my sister and I call the Lost Season.  Why?  Because designers and manufacturers seem to have forgotten about these few months.  This is a shame because people have renewed sense of purpose this time of year; they’re revitalizing their lives, and their wardrobes.  And yet there are no “signature” styles this time of year.  Summer has nautical styles; fall evokes warm autumnal colors, with boots and the start of wearing jackets; the holidays beg for velvet, tartan, and party frocks; and spring brings a confection of easter-Sunday ready soft clothing.   So what about January – March?

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Handbag Dupes: Hermes, Chanel, and Chloe

My handbag envy is at an all-time high lately.  I will buy myself shirts, jeans, shoes, accessories – basically everything other than bags.  I just can’t make up my mind, and if I buy one, I want to buy an investment piece that will withstand the test of time. Of course I can’t afford such a bag, so I’ve went on the hunt for more affordable but still good quality dupes.  (And I want these to withstand the test of time too.  Usually I buy a Zara or Forever 21 bag that lasts but a season.)

More affordable dupes for the Hermes Eveylne, Chanel Classic Flap, Chanel Boy Bag, and Chloe Marcie, after the jump.

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